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Pirates capture double-overtime win to even series

PORTLAND 3, HARTFORD 2 (2OT)
Michal Birner netted a power play goal at 9:24 of the second overtime to give Portland a 3-2 road victory over Hartford on Thursday at the XL Center, evening their Atlantic Division Semifinal series at one game apiece.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 33 saves in net for the Pirates, who will host Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

For the second consecutive night, the teams played a scoreless first period on Thursday.

With a 5-on-3 advantage, Portland’s Geoff Platt took a slap shot from the high slot that hit Hartford goaltender David LeNeveu and just trickled over the goal line at 2:02 of the middle stanza, giving the Pirates a 1-0 edge.

The Wolf Pack answered just 1:29 later with a power play goal of their own. Andrew Hutchinson’s wrist shot from the left point was deflected in front by Dane Byers and past Aubin.

Mike Ouellette put Hartford ahead 2-1 at 17:50 of the second, poking home a loose puck from a scramble in front of the net.

But the Pirates’ Jason King buried a rebound at 1:49 of the third stanza to make it a 2-2 game, where it stayed until Birner’s decisive tally.